Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Weekly Prayer Requests

Hi friends!

Now that we're back into the swing of things with school, I have a little more time to blog. So, I'd like to start doing my weekly prayer requests posts again. Please feel free to share in comments that you are praying or that you have a request. If you want to keep it private, just say so, my comments are moderated.

  1. Please pray for my family. We are struggling financially which is stressing us out. Pray that we will continue to find comfort that God will continue to provide for us as he always has. 
  2. Please pray for the orphans of the world. I'd like to specifically ask for prayers for the sweet little boy we met when we adopted Vanya. If you are open to adoption, please consider bringing him home. He will be transferred soon, and it could be a death sentence for him. 
  3. Please pray for my kiddos and their school year. So far they are doing great, but everyone could use some extra prayers there, right? :) 
  4. Please pray for an endeavor I am embarking upon. I don't want to share right now, in case I fail miserably, but I could definitely use prayer to sustain me! 

That's all that's on my heart this morning. Hope you have a wonderful week.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is so very special to me. So, on this day of her canonization, I wanted to share how she has profoundly affected and changed my life. 

Luckily for me, I was coming of age while Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana (not Catholic, but worthy of a mention here) were working their good in the world. They were all in the spotlight. Catholics and non-Catholics alike loved Mother Teresa and JPII. I, being one of those non-Catholics at the time, and struggling with a deep depression at the time, was inspired by their holiness. Although I wanted to look tough on the outside and hardly believed in God at that point, I still paid attention. It was hard to look away when they shone so brightly. 

When Mother Teresa died just after Princess Diana, I mourned for the world. I hoped there were still good people that would pick up where they left off; helping those who were the poorest of the poor, the disabled, and the orphan. I felt called then to adoption, and knew I would adopt someday. (This was also around the time I saw the Romanian orphanage documentary.) 

In 2005 when JPII was dying, I was pregnant with Amelia and glued to the news that followed his declining health. I was still not Catholic, but had been felt pulled to the Church for years. We were attending mass, but had not yet joined RCIA. I mourned his death much like Mother Teresa's and ultimately, it was through these people (and meeting my first daughter) that God spoke to me. It was how I knew it was finally time to convert officially. At my baptism, confirmation, and first communion, I chose Mother Teresa as my patron. 

In 2012, I found out about the suffering of children with disabilities in orphanages all over the world. We were not in a good place financially, so the "someday" plan held firm in my mind. Now wasn't the time... Or so I thought. 

I devoted myself to raising money for families in process. And hey, I was pretty good at it! But then I saw Nico, and my heart broke in half. I spent hours in prayer in adoration. I begged Jesus to show me the way. I asked Mother Teresa and PJII to pray for me and to show me miracles if we were meant to adopt him. 

My husband was suddenly on board. 

My husband's job situation suddenly worked out. We suddenly qualified. 

We jumped in feet first in September of 2012. As I'm typing this out (I know it's all a little disjointed, I have 8 kids, bear with me), I have tears in my eye realizing that I was baptized, confirmed, and received holy communion a year to the month after PJII died, and September is the month Mother Teresa died.

Anyway, back on track, in September 2012, we committed to adopting Nico from Russia. In December we were stopped in our tracks by the Russian government's ban on adoptions. Although I don't understand this part of our journey, I know that we wouldn't have adopted Maks at all had we adopted Nico. 

The series of events that brought every single cent and fixed every issue and brought everything together, resulting in a sweet little boy, just months away from being transferred to an institution, becoming part of our family, were all miracles. Plain and simple.

Inspired by this, I knew that when I saw our sweet Ivan's face, that God would provide if he were ours. And he did. Was it a coincidence that his name is Ivan (Ukrainian form of John)? Of course not. Was it a coincidence that a statue of JPII stood tall at the Church we would attend mass every Sunday we were in his region and see multiple times every day on our walk to the orphanage? Of course not. 

It was Jesus. It was how He spoke to me, through these wonderful saints. It was how He brought my children home. And I know it is how He will sustain our family, even through difficult and overwhelming times. 

SAINT Mother Teresa, pray for us!


Friday, April 29, 2016


Our sweet baby #8

Born April 20th

6 lbs 2 oz and 18 inches

Genevieve Mae ZĂ©lie

She is never alone, because her siblings are constantly asking to hold her! She is so loved. 
Little blessing. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Quick Update

Dear friends!

I am so sorry! Things have been so crazy here and are finally calming down, just in time for baby 8's arrival. ;)

We celebrated Vanya's 2nd birthday in February and it was so sweet! He's doing really well and is getting so strong.
He ate two whole pieces of strawberry cake!

Baby 8 is looking like she will come between 36 and 37 weeks, which is the week of April 11th.  We won't know for sure until Monday, when my last u/s is scheduled, but if the placenta previa hasn't resolved, we will be scheduling a c-section. This will be my first c-section, and it's going to be a difficult situation with recovery and the other kids, but I know The Lord will provide like He always does.
Isn't she sweet?? 

Everything else is going well. We are gearing up for St. Patrick's Day and Holy Week and Easter. I can't believe how early Easter is this year. All of the holidays seemed to all be packed right with the other. PHEW!!

Hope you're all having a blessed Lent.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

6 mos home, 2 yrs home, and the gender of baby eight!

I have been so bad about blogging! I'm in a bit of a rut these days, so please forgive me. 

Vanya is doing great. He cruises furniture, sleeps well, eats well, and is a happy little guy. His 2nd birthday is next month, so we're gearing up for his very first birthday party!

Maks has now been home over 2 years! Can you believe it?? He is doing great in kindergarten. He can match numbers and letters, and can write an M. We finally found new therapists to come to the house after school, so those are starting this week. He still isn't potty trained, so that's been frustrating, but he'll get there eventually. 

Christmas was great and we all had a lot of fun celebrating Jesus' birth.

The kids got the game Pie Face for Christmas and we played it on New Year's Eve. It's hilarious and so much fun. 

We also found out that baby number 8 is a girl! Genevieve Mae will join us in late April. The kids are so excited. 

I hope you all are doing well. Praying for a wonderful 2016 for all of us. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


This week's homily really spoke to me. Whether it seems like it or not, I always seem to have an attitude towards God when it comes to our growing family, at least at first. 

"You want me to do what? Fly across the world and do what?"

"You want me to give birth and then fly across the world and do what?"

"You just gave me another pregnancy 9 months after giving birth to another one?"

And now...

"I just brought a sweet baby home from Ukraine, what do you mean I'm pregnant???" 

Yes, you read that right, #8 is on his or her way. And I've had an attitude about it, as usual. 

And then Sunday, the words were spoken by our amazing priest, "just when you think you've given all you possibly can, God asks you to give more."

Oh, smack. Right across the face. Right into my heart. God knew what I needed to hear. 

My patience level, our finances, our hectic lifestyle, all need an overhaul, and obviously God knows I need extreme amounts of sanctifying. 

I am blessed, but we could use your prayers as our family grows once more. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3 months home!

Well, I've been a horrible post-adoption blogger, haven't I? With the start of school and all the running around to do, I barely have time to breathe. I do find a way to lay down with the little boys daily for a nap, so that has helped, but man we're busy! 

Vanya is doing amazingly well. He is teething currently, so he's a little cranky, but he is making great progress, has started physical therapy, and still loves swim lessons. He blows bubbles in the water and holds his breath to go under now. It's really cute. It's also been a good bonding experience for us, because he is in the pool with me, while Sam is in the other pool with a teacher. 

He is doing a lot of tall kneeling against furniture, which is great for his core strength, and he's even been standing up in the pool while holding onto the side. He has trouble realizing his feet work, so this is big. 

He had a feeding therapist evaluation and he is suddenly chewing on an age appropriate level. This has made both of our lives so much easier! He's eating lots of big boy food and really enjoying himself. He loves everything except Chick fil a fries. Haha...

We had family pics done a couple weeks ago, so I'll share those! Hope you're all doing well, and I'm so sorry for my lack of posting.